Renewable milestone as Scottish wind farm powering Tesco changes hands

A milestone has been declared for the UK’s renewable energy sector following the sale of an Inverclyde wind farm that supplies Tesco with power.

Located south of Greenock and west of Port Glasgow, the site consists of eight wind turbines and has a total capacity of 24 megawatts.

BayWa Re said the deal involving the eight-turbine site marked the country’s first sale of a subsidy-free wind farm.

It has been sold to James Jones & Sons and London-based specialist asset manager Gresham House Asset Management for an undisclosed sum.

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John Milligan, managing director at BayWa Re UK, said: “What is so significant about this wind farm is that it will generate green electricity at market prices without any government subsidies.

“With renewable energy becoming the cheapest source of any form of new generation, we will see many more projects coming forward.

“We are also seeing more businesses sourcing electricity from renewables, which is good for them, society and our planet.

“This sale continues our successful relationship with Gresham House Asset Management, who we are pleased to be working with again. As the first subsidy-free wind farm in the UK, this is a significant milestone in the energy transition.”

Located south of Greenock and west of Port Glasgow, the site consists of eight wind turbines and has a total capacity of 24 megawatts. The clean energy produced will displace more than 18,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Earlier this year, Tesco signed a 15-year power purchase agreement as the wind farm’s “off-taker” – contributing to the retail giant’s commitment to use 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

Wayne Cranstone, investment director at Gresham House Asset Management, said: “Acquiring our first subsidy free wind farm with a long-term corporate power purchase agreement in place is a great achievement and hopefully will be the first of many if we are to help the country meet its net zero carbon emissions target.”

James Jones & Sons is a family-owned timber processor with annual sales in excess of £180 million.

Chairman Tom Bruce-Jones said: “Enhancing our environmental impact has always been a fundamental part of our group ethos and strategy.

“We have been at the forefront of innovation with regards to all environmental matters for a number of years and have pioneered a number of innovative processes and systems to enhance our carbon negative credentials.

“This transaction strengthens our trading and investment relations with Gresham House and we will be the initial limited partner in the new fund.”

As part of the project, BayWa Re has also committed ongoing support for local communities in Inverclyde.

Alasdair Macleod, the firm’s head of renewable development, said: “The renewable transition is about more than generating green power.

“There is also a whole green socio-economic transition that is taking place. For this project, we are delighted to have entered into a long-term community benefit agreement with Inverclyde Community Fund (ICF).

“ICF is a charitable trust that makes grants to support Inverclyde’s voluntary and community sector. We see this as an excellent model for delivering community benefit across a wide area, such as Inverclyde.”

In 2021, the company will begin construction on two onshore wind farms in South Lanarkshire and the Scottish Borders.

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